Marco Antonio Rubio pressuring WBC to replace Chavez Jr in mandatory fight

Jeff Zelevansky

Saying that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr can no longer make the middleweight limit, Mexican veteran Rubio is trying to get the WBC to replace him as a mandatory opponent to fill a WBC interim middleweight title "vacancy."

Marco Antonio Rubio doesn't deserve any more WBC middleweight title shots, but if he's going to get another one, he wants the sanctioning body to choose another mandatory opponent. Recently, the WBC ordered a rematch between Rubio and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr to decide a new interim middleweight titlist, with Sergio Martinez on the shelf for the time being, but Rubio is pressuring the WBC to choose someone other than Chavez, as he feels Chavez has made clear he can't make the weight anymore.

From Miguel Rivera at BoxingScene.com:

"I'm leaving everything up to my promoters, because they have always managed my career and cared for my interests. Hopefully the WBC designates another challenger, because it is no secret that Chavez Jr. can no longer make the middleweight limit and there are many fighters with sufficient merit to compete for the championship," Rubio said.

Rubio (58-6-1, 50 KO) has twice challenged for the WBC title. In 2009, he was completely dominated by Kelly Pavlik before being pulled out after nine rounds of one-way action, and in February 2012, he lost a scrappy fight to Chavez Jr in Texas, a fight marred (at the time, anyway, as most seem to have forgotten all about it) by Texas and the WBC taking no post-fight drug tests, which Rubio fruitlessly protested.

Since losing to Chavez, the 33-year-old Rubio has won five stay busy-type fights, including a "WBF super middleweight title" win over Carlos Baldomir, a shot-to-bits former welterweight champion. Chavez, of course, beat Andy Lee on HBO after beating Rubio, and then lost the belt to Sergio Martinez in September 2012. He was then suspended for testing positive for marijuana after the fight, and is due to return on September 7 against Brian Vera in a super middleweight contest.

Chavez and Rubio are guys the WBC has taken care of and pushed for years, but obviously Chavez is the favored son. Unless Julio bows out of a middleweight fight himself, they'll probably keep that on the burner for now. Rubio is getting enough of a lucky draw even being named as a mandatory for this fight in the first place, so asking for more is, I dunno, rude. Just rude of him. But he may be right that Chavez can't make the weight and that this is all a screwaround process for a belt that nobody's going to respect in the first place. I mean, it's very important.

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